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Thanks to today’s sponsors!. Weiner Insurance. The Unemployment Safety Net. Yes, it can be scary. But, it’s not the end of the world!. Unemployment Insurance. Unemployment compensation (or unemployment insurance - UI) is a way of receiving monetary income even after losing your job.

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the unemployment safety net
The Unemployment Safety Net
  • Yes, it can be scary.
  • But, it’s not the end of the world!



Unemployment Insurance

  • Unemployment compensation (or unemployment insurance - UI) is a way of receiving monetary income even after losing your job.
  • All states have a UI program.
  • Taking advantage of UI is a great way to stay on your feet while searching for a job. You won’t have as much income as you did while working, but it will help you get by in the interim.


how much does unemployment insurance pay
How Much Does Unemployment Insurance Pay?
  • The amount you will receive is usually based on how much you earned while most recently employed.
  • You will typically receive a weekly payment for half a year (26 weeks) as long as you remain eligible.
  • The amount varies by state and in the District of Columbia and is usually determined by a formula using amounts based on previous wages.


who can file an unemployment claim
Who Can File An Unemployment Claim?
  • Many states have restrictions on the kinds of job loss that unemployment insurance protects against.
    • Workers who quit voluntarily without showing cause, or who are fired from their job for misconduct, for example, may not be eligible for full benefits (or, in some cases, any benefits at all).
    • In addition, some states require that you register in a state job-search database in order to receive your compensation.


unemployment insurance resources to get you back in the game
Unemployment Insurance Resources to Get You Back in the Game.
  • State's department of labor website for:
    • information on training events,
    • job search advice, & online UI filing

Democratic GAIN for

Tips on surviving unemployment &

State-by-state UI links and info




What About Your Health Insurance?

  • Continuing some kind of health coverage is a must! A lapse in coverage can result in higher premiums and difficulty finding coverage later.
  • As a newly unemployed person, you’ll have up to THREE options for health insurance before you find your next job:



Option 1:


  • COBRA provides temporary continuation of group health coverage at group rates to certain former employees, retirees, spouses, former spouses, and dependent children.
  • This coverage is only available when coverage is lost due to certain specific events – like termination of employment.



How Much Does COBRA Cost?

  • Group health coverage for COBRA participants is usually more expensive than health coverage for active employees, since usually the employer pays a part of the premium for active employees while COBRA participants generally pay the entire premium themselves.
  • Depending on the size of your group, employer contribution, and covered benefits, COBRA coverage can be more expensive than individual health coverage.
  • COBRA is normally paid one month at a time – so you can sign up for COBRA while you figure out all of your options.



How Do You Become Eligible for COBRA?

  • To be eligible for COBRA coverage, you must have been enrolled in your employer's health plan when you worked and the health plan must continue to be in effect for active employees.
  • COBRA continuation coverage is available upon the occurrence of a qualifying event that would, except for the COBRA continuation coverage, cause an individual to lose his or her health care coverage.



How Do You Elect COBRA Coverage?

Your employer must notify plan administrators of your termination/reduced hours of employment within 30 days.

You generally must be sent an election notice not later than 14 days after the plan administrator receives this notice.

You then have 60 days to decide whether to elect COBRA continuation coverage. The person has 45 days after electing coverage to pay the initial premium.



Option 2:

Individual Health Insurance

  • Depending on your circumstances, individual health insurance can be less expensive than COBRA.
  • The best way to determine your costs and compare benefits available is by working with an insurance broker.
  • Democratic GAINoffers members access to individual health insurance support. Compare rates and benefits, determine if individual vs. COBRA is right for you, and find the best plan to suit your needs!



Navigating the Individual Health Insurance Market

  • Getting your insurance quotes through Democratic GAIN’s member portal is a quick & easy process:
    • Open an inquiry through our member portal at
    • You’ll receive a response in 24 hours with follow up questions
    • You’ll have quotes from several different plans within 3-5 days (often sooner)
    • Our insurance broker will help you navigate these options and choose the plan that best meets your needs



Option 3:

Your Parent’s Plan*

  • Thanks to Obamacare, if you are under 26 you are still eligible for coverage as a dependent on your parent’s health insurance plan
  • Same Benefits/Same Price.
    • If you are under 26, you are eligible for ALL of the dependent benefits the plan offers.
    • You cannot be required to pay more than other dependents!
  • The catch: the new policy applies only to health insurance plans that offer dependent coverage in the first place, there is no requirement to do so.



How Do You Get On Your Parent’s Plan?

  • You can join or remain on your parent’s plan even if you are:
    • married
    • not living with your parents
    • attending school
    • not financially dependent on your parents
    • eligible to enroll in their employer’s plan
  • There is one temporary exception:Until 2014, “grandfathered” group plans do not have to offer dependent coverage up to age 26 if you are eligible for group coverage outside your parent’s plan.


resources to protect your health coverage
Resources to Protect Your Health Coverage.
  • US Department of Labor website for:
    • FAQ to answer all of your questions!
    • A full Guide to Health Benefits Under COBRA
  • (where Obamacare is explained online!)

All of these resources and more can be found on Democratic GAIN’s GAIN Plan Resource Page:



the job search
The Job Search
  • Resumes, Interviews, Networking, & more!


basic resume content
Basic Resume Content
    • Name, Address, Phone Number, Professional Email Address
    • Highlights
    • Professional Experience
    • Education (Post High School only)
    • Additional Qualifications: Computer Skills, Language Skills, Research/Writing Experiences, Training/Public Speaking Skills
    • Trainings: GAIN, Wellstone Action!, etc.


you should
You Should…
  • Tailor your resume to the position/organization
  • Keep it short
    • 1 page (10 years work experience or less)
    • 2 pages (10-20 years work experience)
    • 3 pages (20+ years work experience)
  • List job title, employer, dates worked & location
  • Fact check yourself
  • Keep it clean, concise and reflective of your experience


best practices
Best Practices
  • Highlight accomplishments vs. tasks you performed
  • Use action verbs to describe responsibilities & experience
    • Wrote, managed, researched, directed, oversaw, coordinated, produced, increased, implemented
  • Use numbers to quantify experience
    • “Managed a team of 3 interns and more than 20 volunteers over a three week period.”
    • “Directed GOTV effort and increased turnout by 15% over previous election year”


getting it out there
Getting it Out There
  • Send as a PDF
  • Address to a specific person at the organization, if possible
  • Include a cover letter
  • Make sure all of your documents match
  • Name the files appropriately!

Good Examples:

Smith_John Resume.pdf

John Smith Resume.pdf

Bad Examples:

My resume.doc

Political resume.pdf



writing a cover letter
Writing A Cover Letter

Begin by addressing to someone specific.

Find out who will read your letter. If you don’t know, use “To Whom It May Concern.”

Then, three Sections:

  • Express interest, specify the job you’re applying for and describe how you heard about the job.
  • Provide professional highlights that are relevant to the specific job. Don’t repeat your resume!
  • Explain why you’re interested in this specific job and why you’re the best fit.


application package

Application Package

Be consistent across all your documents.

Read the requirements before submitting application package. Make sure you follow all instructions carefully.

Double check your files on more than one system to catch any formatting errors.


the value of networking
The Value of Networking



how to network

How to Network

Build YOUR Network

Set up a LinkedIn account

Make sure it matches your resume

Make a list of who is in your network and begin connecting

Former supervisors, coworkers, employees, people you’ve met at events/meetings, friends

Keep building

Go to events that are relevant to your career interests.

Always collect business cards



work the network

Work the Network

The “Meet Up”

Coffees, meetings, happy hours

Learn about the landscape, meet more people

Informational Interviews


The “Check-In”

Stay on the radar


social media

Social Media


Excellent way to keep track of and utilize your network

Use the connector tool

Request recommendations


Be careful.


preparing for interviews

Preparing for Interviews

Learn about the Organization

Mission statement, programs, activities, public image, etc.

Learn about the People

Management, your network

Learn about the Job

Job description, your network, similar positions elsewhere

Know your questions

Substantive questions

Don’t ask about benefits, salary, hours, etc. on first interview

Treat Informational Interviews like REAL Interviews.

Because they are.


before you start your search
Before You Start Your Search…
  • Evaluate:
    • What did I enjoy about my last job? What did I hate?
    • What are my skills?
    • What do I need in my next job?
      • Financial requirements
      • Schedule
      • Location
      • Benefits
    • What do I want in my next job?
      • More money
      • Additional job responsibilities
      • A promotion
    • Where do I want to be in 5 years?


before you start your search1
Before You Start Your Search…
  • Research:
    • What is the mission?
    • Who is the leadership?
    • What is the governing structure?
    • Who makes decisions and how?
    • What are the benefits?
    • What does the position entail?
  • Prepare:
    • Resume & Interview Skills


finding a job
Finding a Job
  • The professional association for progressives providing training & support for individuals & organizations.
  • Join to GAIN access to all the benefits we offer, including:
    • Job Board & Career Counseling
    • Talent Bank & Hiring Assistance
    • Training & Certifications
    • Networking Opportunities
  • Join the free JobsThatAreLEFT listserv for daily job updates!


the timeline
The Timeline
  • December
    • National Conferences: 12.10-12.14
    • Holiday Parties: 12.17-12.21
    • Christmas, et al: 12.24-12.28
  • January
    • New Years: 1.01-1.06
    • Inaugural Events: 1.16-1.21
  • February
    • GAIN Career Fair


additional resources
Additional Resources


  • EMILY’s List
  • Tom Manatos
  • Grassroots Solutions


  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Twitter


  • Brad Traverse
  • The Hill
  • Roll Call
  • Politico
  • DSCC
  • DCCC
  • DLCC


the lay of the land
The Lay of the Land
  • Progressive Professional Opportunities in
  • DC, the states and nationally


  • Alix Dejean, DeweySquare(Moderator)
  • Laura Capps-Burton, Common Purpose
  • Julie Greene, AFL-CIO
  • Susan Markham, NDI
  • Mike Masserman, Commerce Department
  • Jen Pihlaja, McKenna|Pihlaja
  • Jessica Post, DLCC



Some of Your Options

The Hill & State Legislature

The Administration & State, Local Government

Campaigns & Elections

Issue Research & Advocacy

All of the Above:




The Hill &

State Leg

Senator / Representative

Chief of Staff / Admin Asst.

Legislative Director

District Office(s)

Legislative Assistant

Legislative Assistant

Press Secretary

Legislative Correspondent

Legislative Correspondent


Staff Assistant






The Administration


Political Appointment



Think Tanks



Issue Specific Groups

Human Rights

Women Issues



& Education



now hiring
Now Hiring!



The Atlas Project is the central hub for real-time data and analysis for progressives. Offering:


Questions?Learn more about what you can GAINby joining us!